This is one of my favourite dishes and it is reasonably easy to prepare.
What the Heck is Confit?
Confit — the old school French preparation – is traditionally used to preserve duck or goose in its own fat.
“When you think of fine cuisine you think French. And confit is one staple in French cooking – you’re always going to see it offered, ” he says. For non-French restos, serving confit is basically an easy way to add some cachet to a menu – AND it sounds a lot better than, say, “preserved ducks in lard.”
“But it’s a very basic thing. There’s nothing too exciting about it. It just happens to be a very nice way to preserve duck or goose and it also adds so much flavor. You’d be surprised at how a plain old duck leg can taste so good.”
Duck Confit Recipe from Chef Paul O’Donnell
- Trim the visible fat from one whole duck, leaving a thin layer of fat on the legs.
- Using an all-steel or cast iron pan, render the fat over low heat. Once liquefied, strain out any lumps and return the fat to pan. (Note: If you don’t have enough fat to completely submerge two duck legs, you may also render additional pork fat.)
- Save the tender duck breasts for another dish, and add the trimmed duck legs to the fat, along with two garlic cloves, cracked black pepper corns, bay leaves and dried rosemary. (Important: Use dried herbs to minimize moisture content so the confit is properly preservative.) Submerge the legs completely and bring the pan to a simmer.
- Put the whole thing in the oven and bake at 225 for two to two and a half hours – or until tender.
- Remove the legs from fat, strain off garlic and other seasonings. Pour fat back over legs – submerging them completely. Store in a metal or glass bowl.
- Your confit legs are ready to roll. They can be preserved this way for up to three months in the refrigerator. The texture is tender, the taste is rich and they can be enjoyed hot, cold, sautéed, in soups, salads.